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China: No Clear Solution to the Wall Street Occupation

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.

A month on since the Wall Street demonstration began, “Occupy” protests even spread to several cities in Asia this past weekend.

According to New York-based investment banker and adjunct professor in the Zicklin School of Business at CUNY, Jay Guo, writing on his Sina.com blog [zh], protesters at the original site have yet show much sign of being ready to pack up and head home, while in the meantime similar protests have popped up across the country in 70 other cities, finding lots of support in each.

The American dream is fading away, Guo says, and a lot of the blame falls on United States President Obama, who despite repeated calls made during his 2008 election campaign to initiate reforms, has yet to deliver:

更为担心的是,不同于以往经济危机,目前美国还没有出现一个行业有希望能够带领国家走出这场危机。而现有的权力结构也未能展现出任何变革的魄力。在民众没有希望可看时,矛盾向社会的蔓延也是必然趋势。

美国梦在渐行渐远。占领华尔街运动还将继续。

What's more worrisome, though, is how this differs from past economic crises. There isn't a single profession that shows any hope of being able to bring the country out of this crisis. Not just that, but the present power structures haven't shown any will to push through reforms. With the public left with no hope in sight, conflict is guaranteed to continue spreading through society.

The American dream is drifting away, and the Occupy Wall Street movement is going strong.

Occupy Hong Kong in Exchange Square, Hong Kong, China. Image by anissatung, copyright Demotix (15/10/11).

Occupy Hong Kong in Exchange Square, Hong Kong, China. Image by anissatung, copyright Demotix (15/10/11).

Then, if bankers say they don't have the answers and the political process is equally unable to repair either itself or the economy, how do you start over? National Business Daily columnist Ye Tan looked at the more radical, or possibly legal, approach in her post this weekend [zh] of chasing the “fat cats” out of Wall Street and the global economic system:

占领华尔街运动旷日持久,四处蔓延,华尔街上的金融家成为部分民众泄愤的对象。贪婪的金融肥猫,成为失业率上升、经济疲软的罪魁。抗议者占领了华尔街之后怎么办?无非是走了一批旧肥猫,再来一批新肥猫。
[...]
目前的金融时代极端不公平,不仅仅在美国国内,在全球、在中国,莫不如此。民众赶走肥猫,也占领不了华尔街。

The occupation of Wall Street drags on and has spread everywhere, with public anger directed at the bankers there on Wall Street. The greedy banker fat cats are being held as the criminals responsible for rising unemployment and the sluggish economy. After they take over Wall Street, though, what will the protestors do? If the fat cats go, they'll just be replaced by a bunch of new fat cats.
[...]
The extreme inequality seen in the current financial era isn't just present in the United States, but globally, and China is no exception. You can get rid of the fat cats, but you can't just take over Wall Street.

What if, though, instead of more fat cats, zombies end up taking over Wall Street and start working on a public bailout plan? That's almost the question Yale Professor of Finance Zhiwu Chen seemed to be asking in a recent interview he gave [zh] to Phoenix TV:

他们肯定有这样的权力,但从另一个角度来讲,作为经济学家,我是觉得他们自己搬起石头砸自己的脚,因为说到底,你说当然我知道这些抗议华尔街那些人,每一个人的原因不一样,理由各种各样的,所以他们可以根据各自的原因去游行、去示威。

但是,到最后如果他们真的把华尔街给打垮了,尤其是他们通过游行,给美国民主党的那些议员和政客提供更多的理由去推出更多的监管政策,甚至推出新的法律,加强对于高收入群体的征税等等。到最后,必然的一个结果,会使得美国社会的总体金融服务的供给量会下降的。

Of course they have the right [to be there], but looking at it from another aspect, as an economist, I think that what they're actually doing is shooting themselves in the foot. To the point, I know that they all have their own reasons for being there, and that the protesters have different reasons for wanting to demonstrate.

But in the end, if they truly do end up taking Wall Street down, and especially if, through their rallies, they end up giving politicians and those in Congress from the Democratic Party more reason to introduce greater regulatory measures—or even laws—which raise taxes on high-income earners, in the end there's only going to be one result, and that will be an inevitable decline in the supply of financial services available to the American public.

因为简单的说,你把很多的华尔街公司都打垮了,把很多银行都赶跑了,到最后整个美国经济不管是企业家,还是企业他们能够得到的资金的支持,资本的支持,会比以前更少。这么多企业和创业家甚至于像未来的乔布斯这样的人物,都得不到很多的资本,得不到很多的华尔街的支持了以后,那美国的就业靠什么来增长。

这些去游行示威抗议的人,和他们的盟友,他们的支持者以后要找工作的时候谁来给他们提供工作。

Put simply, if a number of Wall Street firms end up getting shut down and banks are forced to leave, in the end it's going to be the overall American economy, affecting both entrepreneurs and corporations, that won't be able to receive sufficient financial support, enough capital support, as there just won't have been as much as there once was. If this means that all the future Steve Jobs among all these corporations and entrepreneurs aren't going to be able to raise much capital, or receive much support from Wall Street, then where will American job growth come from?

These people out rallying and demonstrating and protesting, their allies and supporters, when it comes time for them to find work, who's going to be there to give them a job?

This post is part of our special coverage #Occupy Worldwide.

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